Congress Speak: Nerd


“I worry that we did not take the time to have a hearing to truly understand what we're doing ... maybe we ought to ask some nerds what this [bill] really does.” — Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), at a Dec. 15 congressional hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act

“Let’s bring in the nerds and get this right.” — Chaffetz, at the Dec. 15 hearing

“I would like to thank the Brookings Institution for inviting me to speak with you today on the safety and security of our critical networks, a topic I believe deserves far greater attention and scrutiny by people both inside and outside our national-security sectors. I have a feeling I'll have a lot of company in the room when I admit that I have always had the reputation of being a bit of a technology nerd, so I was more than thrilled back in 2007 when I was selected to chair the Homeland Security Subcommittee with jurisdiction over cyber programs.” — Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), in an Oct. 26 speech at the Brookings Institution

“Peter is a nerd, just like me. He actually takes the time to read legislation and understand the issues, which has become a rarity in Washington.” — Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), in a May 5 story in The Hill profiling Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.)

Definition: (noun) A person whose keen and unfailing focus on and enthusiasm for a specific issue, cause, area or object might come at the expense of certain social skills. 

Suggested synonyms: expert, enthusiast, savant

Synonyms lawmakers should avoid: dweeb, geek, dork